Ghana’s first lady offers to refund allowances

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Ghana’s first lady has offered to refund all the allowances she has received since the president assumed office in 2017, following a public outcry over salaries.

Rebecca Akufo-Addo also said she would not accept a salary that was recently approved by the country’s parliament.

She said in a statement that she had “decided to refund all monies paid to her as allowances” amounting to 899,097.84 Ghanaian cedis ($151,618; £109,111).

She said she did not request to be paid and had “only received that which existed and attached to her status, albeit informally”.

She said had decided to refund the money in view of the “extremely negative opinion, in some cases, which she finds distasteful, seeking to portray her as a venal, self-serving and self-centered woman who does not care about the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian”.

Last week, Ghanaians expressed outrage at the decision by MPs to approve salaries for the wives of the president and vice-president for the supportive role they play.

They were set to receive about $3,500 (£2,500) a month, the same amount as cabinet ministers following a 2019 recommendation by a parliamentary committee.

The first lady and second lady have always been given allowances over the years as part of executive privileges.

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